Chicago Style Paper

Chicago Style Paper

A significant part of any academic writing assignment is to know the formatting requirements which your paper is supposed to follow. Luckily, all these rules have been summed up in a comprehensive set. However, there are several manuals which sometimes differ in various details. The most widespread formatting styles are APA, ASA, MLA, and Chicago (also called Turabian – after Kate L. Turabian who wrote a recognized manual on this style). Which of them you will use – depends on what you are writing about. For instance, an example of Chicago style paper is most likely a paper on history, anthropology, or social sciences, because this format style was put together for these areas of study.

If you find yourself tasked with submitting a Chicago Manual of Style sample paper, you should definitely look at the latest (17th) edition of Chicago Manual of Style, published by University of Chicago Press, for precise instructions. We understand that it may be tedious to go through all the details which you most likely won’t need, so we have taken out its main features and put them together into a brief article on formatting a Chicago style paper.


The guidelines common for the entirety of your sample Chicago style paper are as follows:

  • You can use any font type and size in your Chicago style research paper so long that it does not hinder the readability. So, there is no reason to overthink it, it is best to stick to the commonly accepted Times New Roman size 12.
  • The spacing, on the other hand, remains strictly double everywhere, except block quotations.
  • You should not separate the paragraphs with blank lines or spaces.
  • The margins, same as in most other formats, should be 1”.
  • You place your name and the page number in the upper right-hand corner of every page except the title page (if you have one). The numbering begins with number two on the page following the title page.
  • If your instructor suggests “Chicago style paper no title page." In this case, you begin the numeration with number one on the first page. Chicago style paper no title page is often the case when you are writing a smaller piece – for example, a 5-paragraph essay, and a separate title page is simply unjustified.

However, most often, your Chicago style research paper will compose of three main parts: the cover page (title), the main body, and the works cited page. Let us investigate each of these parts in particular.


If your instructor suggests that Chicago style sample paper should come with a cover page, it is by no means a significant amount of extra work to do. All you have to keep in mind is how these bits of information will look on your cover page. Namely, you do the following:

  • Find the very center of the page and proudly put your name there.
  • Strictly between your name and the top of the page – you write the title of your paper. If it is too long for just one line, you use the usual double spacing.
  • Strictly between your name and the bottom of the page – you allocate three lines where you write, respectively, your course name, the name of your professor, and the date. The spacing is, as usual, double.


Basically, you just follow all the general formatting requirements for sample Chicago style paper here. The only two issues that deserve extra attention are Chicago style paper heading and citations.

Headings and subheadings are formatted this way in the Chicago style paper format:

  • A Chicago style paper heading can be written in all caps.
  • If you want, you can write subheadings in separate lines, but no full stops on ends.
  • The number of subheading levels should not exceed three.
  • Different levels of subheadings can be written in italic or bold for the sake of distinction.

In a Chicago style citation example paper, you can use either in-text citations, or footnotes, or both. Here are the recommendations:

  • A citation includes the following information about the source: the author’s name, publishing date, and page number(s).
  • If there is no author or s/he is not known, you shorten the title and use that instead.
  • Obviously, you cannot state the page number of an online source, so you don’t.
  • You cannot add your own abbreviations in a citation, you only use those used by the author of the source.
  • You separate the page number with a comma, other than that – there will be no punctuation.
  • If you quote the same source several times in one paragraph, you put the citation only after the last time.

If you look at a text with many in-text citations, you will see that it decreases the readability of the text. This is why Chicago Manual of Style does not insist but recommends that you use Chicago style in text citation sample paper for direct quotes as seldom as you can.

Here is an illustration of a Chicago style in text citation sample paper:

“Charles Hullmandel’s experiments with lithographic techniques throughout the early nineteenth century lead him to patent the "lithotint" technology in 1840 (Twyman 1970, 145-146).”

For indirect quotations, the manual suggests that authors use Chicago style paper footnotes. Here are the guidelines for those:

  • You always begin with a superscript number.
  • A footnote includes the author’s name, the source’s title in quotation marks, the place and date of publishing, and – for a printed source – page number(s).
  • If you cite a source twice, you shorten Chicago style paper footnotes to the source author’s last name, a shortened title (if it has over 4 words), and the page number(s).
  • If you cite a source more than twice, you just write “Ibid” (“same) and add the page number(s).

Here is an illustration:

Iron deficiency has been the cause of child malnutrition in many places around the glode, including Central Europe. 1
1 Valerie M. Hudson, “Culture and Foreign Policy”. Boulder 1997, 5.
2 Hudson, “Culture and Foreign Policy” 10.
3 Ibid 12

Footnotes can be complemented with the author’s (your) comments.


You finalize your Chicago Manual of Style paper with listing all the sources that have influenced your writing. This includes all the works that you have cited in your paper along with the ones that have influenced you during your research and writing but were not quoted – directly or indirectly. The items in your works cited page will be formatted according to these guidelines:

  • Your example of Chicago style paper works cited page opens with the word “BIBLIOGRAPHY” in the center of the first line, but without quotes;
  • The order in the list is alphabetical;
  • The authors are called only by last and first names;
  • The title of the whole book will be written in italics and without quotes;
  • The title of a journal article or a book chapter will be in quotes;
  • The elements of each item are divided by periods.

This may seem a bit confusing in theory. To avoid confusion, here are some illustrations:

  • A book by a single author:
    Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin, 2006.
  • A book by multiple authors:
    Ward, Geoffrey, and Ken Burns. The War: An Intimate History, 1941–1945. New York: Knopf, 2007.
  • A book chapter:
    Kelly, John. “Seeing Red: Mao Fetishism, Pax Americana, and the Moral Economy of War” in Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.
  • An article from a journal:
    Weinstein, Joshua. 2009. “The Market in Plato’s Republic.” Classical Philology #104 (2009)
  • An eBook:
    Kurland, Philip, and Ralph Lerner. The Founders’ Constitution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. Kindle edition.
  • An online resource:
    McDonald’s Corporation. 2008. “McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy Safety Facts.” Last modified July 19, 2016.